Living conditions

The "assembly centers" were hastily erected quarters located throughout the West Coast at fairgrounds, racetracks and other similar facilities. Conditions at these locations were appalling. People were housed in animal stalls and barracks with communal bathrooms and mess halls. Privacy was next to nonexistent. Most families lived in a 20-by-20-foot room separated from the next "apartment" by wood partitions that did not reach the ceiling. Shortages of food and deplorable sanitation were common. Overcrowding, uncertainty, and stress created tension in the "assembly centers," even as the demoralized camp inmates tried to improve living conditions.

World War II (215)
Temporary Assembly Centers (175)
Living conditions (364)

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364 items
Tosh Yasutake Interview Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-138-4)
vh Tosh Yasutake Interview Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-138-4)
First impressions of the Puyallup Assembly Center: "it was like going to an army camp"

William Toshio Yasutake was interviewed together with his sister Mitsuye (Yasutake) Yamada and surviving brother, Joseph Yasutake, in group sessions on October 8-9, 2002. He was interviewed individually on November 14, 2002.

Before being contacted by Densho, the Yasutake siblings had …

Kara Kondo Interview Segment 27 (ddr-densho-1000-139-27)
vh Kara Kondo Interview Segment 27 (ddr-densho-1000-139-27)
Early memories of life in assembly center: "You're in a daze for a while until you get your bearings"
Kara Kondo Interview Segment 28 (ddr-densho-1000-139-28)
vh Kara Kondo Interview Segment 28 (ddr-densho-1000-139-28)
Life in the North Portland Assembly Center, Oregon: cramped living quarters, working for the camp newsletter
Lilly Kobayashi Irinaga Interview Segment 13 (ddr-one-7-47-13)
vh Lilly Kobayashi Irinaga Interview Segment 13 (ddr-one-7-47-13)
Living conditions in Portland: a medical emergency

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

Alice Matsumoto Ando Interview Segment 4 (ddr-one-7-73-4)
vh Alice Matsumoto Ando Interview Segment 4 (ddr-one-7-73-4)
A child's memories of the assembly center

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

Jim Tsugawa Interview Segment 10 (ddr-one-7-55-10)
vh Jim Tsugawa Interview Segment 10 (ddr-one-7-55-10)
Coping with living conditions in the assembly center

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

Henry Sakamoto Interview Segment 5 (ddr-one-7-33-5)
vh Henry Sakamoto Interview Segment 5 (ddr-one-7-33-5)
Adjusting to lack of privacy in camp

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

Francis Mas Fukuhara Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-9-11)
vh Francis Mas Fukuhara Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-9-11)
Description of Puyallup Assembly Center: "really kind of horrifying"
Mutsu Homma Segment 23 (ddr-densho-1000-24-23)
vh Mutsu Homma Segment 23 (ddr-densho-1000-24-23)
Description of assembly center: "Santa Anita is a horse place"
Akio Hoshino Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-26-8)
vh Akio Hoshino Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-26-8)
Memories of Puyallup Assembly Center: friendly guards, ice skating, and arguing over steel cots
Louise Kashino Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1000-31-12)
vh Louise Kashino Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1000-31-12)
Leaving Seattle: packing extra food just in case; first impressions of the Puyallup Assembly Center

For the first hour of this interview, an additional camera crew from KCTS Television was also present.

Yukiko Miyake Segment 26 (ddr-densho-1000-49-26)
vh Yukiko Miyake Segment 26 (ddr-densho-1000-49-26)
Challenging the guards at Puyallup Assembly Center: "What are you going to do? Kill us?"
Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 26 (ddr-densho-1000-84-26)
vh Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 26 (ddr-densho-1000-84-26)
Attitude toward violation of rights, "There was nothing we could do about it because they had the guns"

References are made to several of Nobu Suzuki's personal papers, which are currently available for public perusal at the University of Washington's Manuscripts and University Archives.

Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 24 (ddr-densho-1000-84-24)
vh Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 24 (ddr-densho-1000-84-24)
Memories of Puyallup Assembly Center: setting up a makeshift hospital without medical equipment

References are made to several of Nobu Suzuki's personal papers, which are currently available for public perusal at the University of Washington's Manuscripts and University Archives.

Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 25 (ddr-densho-1000-84-25)
vh Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 25 (ddr-densho-1000-84-25)
Conditions in Puyallup: getting chicken pox, army looks for contraband in a chocolate cake brought by visitors

References are made to several of Nobu Suzuki's personal papers, which are currently available for public perusal at the University of Washington's Manuscripts and University Archives.

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